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“You are the universe, you aren’t in the universe.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
Each and every one of us has one thing in common.
We are all one human being living amongst nearly eight billion of us.
All of us arrived here without a choice in the matter.
There are two things in common.
It’s safe to say that anything and everything we have ever been through in our entire lifetime has been experienced by at least one other person. Perhaps a million other persons. Maybe even more.
Our birthday? Maybe we’ve never run into someone who shares our birthday, but a lot of people do. There’s likely at least someone out there who was born exactly at the same minute and moment we were.
Check, check, check, and one more check mark.
Yes, we are unique snowflakes.
Only, we’re not.
That person in front of us who doesn’t look like us, act like us, speak like us, or think like us…could quite possibly be carrying the same exact weight we’re carrying. With a different upbringing, different opportunities, a different support system, or a different culture.
We are hard on ourselves, and we are hard on others.
We have hard lives, and we bear large burdens.
We chase happiness and joy, and we get it all wrong before we get it right.
We spend more time than we’d like to admit experiencing frustration, living in fear, and feeling angry at ourselves, or others, or our situations.
We deal with difficult people and sometimes realize we’re the difficult ones.
We experience loss. We lose people because they passed, because we had to walk away, or because they walked away while we were reaching, clinging, refusing to let go.
We are disappointed. We have shattered dreams and unanticipated redirection and moments we feel foolish.
We find many friends and acquaintances along the way. All for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
Each little morsel of each interaction can be so impactful when we pay attention.
I’ve had so many book recommendations over the years, many I devour, but there’s a snippet from one book I never read that came up in conversation with one of my “for a reason” friends. It’s proven to be one of the best grounding tools as I make my way through my individual oneness with the world having never even read it.
It took the pressure off and helped me stop being so hard on myself. I stopped feeling like my life was a failure. I looked at my years and where I was, and it made sense to me.
From Jon Acuff’s book, Start:
“Learning (20s): the decade where you try lots of things to see which ones motivate you.
Editing (30s): the decade where you sort out your interests (and friends) to eliminate the ones that don’t fit who you are.
Mastering (40s): the decade where you focus on those things you’ve kept after your editing process, hone your skills, and become an expert at them.
Harvesting (50s): the period where you reap the rewards of the decisions you’ve made in the previous decades—and reach your highest earning potential.
Guiding (60s): the decade where you mentor others with the wisdom you gained in prior years.“
Not only is it possible that we’re experiencing something alongside many others, but it’s natural for us to feel a certain way based on where we are in our path in life.
Don’t rush it. Savor it. Look forward to the stages of your life and let yourself embrace the ebb and flow of losing what isn’t for you.
Take a breath. Really. No matter what you’ve gone through, you are not alone. I know it sounds cliché, but you are not alone.
If you’re in your 20s and you feel like a baby deer on a sheet of ice, good.
You’re right on track.
In your 30s and feel like your life is crashing down around you and you’re losing all your old friends and everything is changing?
That is deserving of a pat on the back. Everything is on schedule.
Feel like you’re behind?
With trauma of any sort, you’ll fall behind.
That’s just extra practice time; you’ll catch up. It’s natural to be behind. Though, it’s also likely that you possess a few things from your trauma that can be turned into incredible gifts.
You can stop being so hard on yourself, now.
You can catch yourself when you judge others; know that’s also human nature, and choose to act in ways free of judgement.
You can find oneness.
Know that if sometimes you feel like a baby deer on ice while simultaneously feeling like you’re up in flames and all you want to do is put your head in the sand or scream at the top of your lungs or beat up your pillow…
That’s okay. Me too.
Compassion with yourself is where it’s at. It’s a trickle down effect that winds up turning into a flood of love.
Let it wash away the weight you’ve carried and let the world be illuminated by your light.
Wherever, whoever, whatever you are. There’s a whole life ahead for you. Be here now, and detangle yourself from anything else. You have lives to change, and the root of that will always come from your imperfectly perfect, messy, roller-coaster life.
Love it, own it, embrace it. I’m rooting for you.